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Employers Frequently Asked Questions – Jordan-Sitter Associates

Employers Frequently Asked Questions

Potential JSA clients have frequently asked questions on one or more of the following topics. For your convenience, we have listed these FAQ topics below, and linked them to appropriate answers.

Jordan-Sitter Associates has been providing executive search services since 1978. For 30+ years, our clients included manufacturers and distributors/dealers of construction, mining, industrial, utility, material handling, rental, and agricultural equipment. In February of 2008, we were pleased to add the wind energy sector to the clients we serve. Our management level searches include all disciplines within the industry: Executive and General Management (CEO, COO, GM), Marketing, Product Specialists, Sales, Product Support, Manufacturing, Engineering, Finance, Rental Operations, Used Equipment, etc.

During an exclusive, retained search assignment, our firm becomes a temporary extension of our client’s activities. This confidential relationship can be likened to one between a company and its CPA firm or law firm. The goal of this partnership clearly becomes the prompt acquisition of the best qualified manager for our client company. This exclusivity feature is vital to our partnership. Fortunately, our relationships typically develop into long-term friendships, both professionally and personally. We know that when our client selects the right candidate for a position, a win-win result occurs. When the client and the winning candidate and his/her family are satisfied, JSA also wins… Therefore, there is a true win-win-win.

One of the big pluses for our clients is the amount of time we save them. Once we are awarded an exclusive assignment, and receive the retainer, our JSA team led by Jerry Randecker personally conduct all recruiting/search efforts, and our firm handles all reference checking. This is true regardless of the source of the candidate. Realistically, each of our search assignments requires hundreds of hours, including many night and weekend hours, plus: travel and other miscellaneous expenses. This is why our clients appreciate our flat fee, plus (only) authorized travel expenses approach. Year after year, our repeat business proves that we save our busy clients both time and money, while producing positive results.

A winning candidate must be a proven producer, whose performance can be verified, and who “fits” our client’s culture and the position specification which we and our client have developed. These facts are important, as we think about the difficulty of sourcing and the confidentiality involved in such a process. Our experience indicates that the most qualified candidates are normally not found from the stacks of resumes and applications which result from a job advertisement. That is why JSA does not rely soley on advertisements….We know where to look for superior management talent, and we regularly attend industry events to maintain relationships and meet new industry leaders.

True industry specialization means that we have the right contacts in the heavy equipment industries we serve. We know where and how to confidentially find and recruit candidates who are proven performers. Our candidate database tracks all key skills and capabilities. As students of this industry, we carefully read many trade publications. We personally attend several trade shows and industry meetings annually. These events provide excellent opportunities for preliminary candidate interviews and/or referencing.

We are consistently awarded exclusive and retained executive search assignments because we know the equipment industry and we produce positive results for our clients. Our proven record of 3 decades of consistent service to clients in the equipment industry helped position us well to enter the wind energy sector in 2008. Having experience in “wind”, combined with our experience in the executive search world, has provided our clients in the wind sector with a search firm that has proven stability and processes. JSA gets the job done – even with confidential searches, where the position to be filled is not yet vacant. Our record shows that we strive to be active, solid citizens of the industries we serve. Our clients know that we have many years of hands-on management experience with equipment dealers and manufacturers. We are active in AED, AEM, ARA, MHEDA, and AWEA. We are frequently asked to write articles on the subject of interviewing and hiring and maintain current information on hiring practices and compensation.

Our team has a wealth of industry experience. Jerry Randecker has held senior management positions with equipment manufacturers and distributors during his 34 year career. Jordan-Sitter is thankful for the many repeat clients we have had the privilege of serving since 1978, in the Construction, Mining, Industrial, Utility, Material Handling, Rental, Used, and Agricultural segments of the equipment industry, and for our more recent clients in the Wind industry.

The retainer forges a commitment between JSA and our clients. We professionally “partner” to complete the assignment. It is not unusual for non-exclusive search assignments to be forsaken by contingency firms, if the assignments are relatively hard to fill, or if the firms simply have more lucrative opportunities.

For many years, JSA clients have appreciated our conservative flat fee approach. In our proposal, we lock-in on a total flat fee for each search assignment. Thirty percent of the fee represents the up-front, non-refundable retainer portion of the fee. A second thirty percent of the fee is due in sixty days and the balance of our fee is due upon candidate’s offer acceptance. The only significant additional client expenses are for client authorized travel for JSA candidate interviews and client meetings. Many search firms routinely bill clients for: research, trade show travel, telephone charges, etc. Clients appreciate the fact that, because we are heavy equipment specialists, and now active participants in the wind industry, that JSA already attends key trade shows and annual trade association meetings…at our expense.

Our repeat search assignments indicate that we provide confidential, professional, executive search services which represent a solid value.

Since 1978, our firm has served manufacturer and distributor/dealer clients, in the heavy equipment industry. This is in marked contrast to turnover rates which often approach fifty percent in the executive recruiting profession.

We are not sure what a company’s experience has been with contingency recruiters; However, it is easy to comprehend their natural tendency to “sell a hiring authority on a candidate”. JSA seeks the very best candidates for our clients and will report objectively on strengths and weaknesses. This is, fundamentally, a major difference between JSA and some other firms.

Our professional relationship and our exclusive search assignment approach assure our clients that we will not try to “sell them on a candidate”. If all we provided were resumes and a sales pitch on candidates, then, in our opinion, we would not be entitled to a fee or a retainer. Our long track record, with many satisfied industry clients, indicates that our approach is in tune with the goals of our clients.

Once a JSA search commences, we will have regular and confidential contacts with our client hiring authority. Details are important to us, and to our clients. Clients receive thorough, easy-to-read reports which include: candidate profiles, using a consistent format, focused reference reports, and our in-depth JSA/candidate interview reports. Often, our dossier includes the candidate’s photograph and the candidate’s response as to how he/she meets the desired qualifications of the position spec. Clients will not receive a packet of resumes with notes attached.

Our communications with candidates are handled confidentially and professionally, in a manner which reflects positively on our clients. When a JSA search is completed, we write each candidate, and helpful source, to thank him/her on behalf of JSA and our client. We strive to maintain positive relationships in all of our contacts, and we frequently develop new friends for our clients.

The goals of our initial client visit are to develop a meaningful position specification and to clarify key factors for a successful “fit” to the culture, work environment, and the area. Typically, our one to two day visit includes meetings with several key managers, facility tours, and the gathering of company information suitable for our recruiting packets. Since most executive searches result in a family relocation we like to visit the communities and drive through some of the residential areas where the winning candidate might choose to live.

From time-to-time, new clients ask candid questions about our JSA search methods and procedures and how we would work together. This often leads to a telephone discussion followed by a no-obligation proposal packet. A subsequent telephone consultation frequently results in a commitment to exclusively retain JSA, and to schedule a meeting. Our confidential and professional process typically results in our client selecting a proven performer to fill a key need. The result is that many, many clients use our firm for one search. This first search has led to satisfied clients and to many repeat search assignments. Repeat business from satisfied clients and their referrals accounts for a very high percentage of our business activity at JSA.

We agree with our clients that the goal is to obtain a superior person who can “hit the ground running”, and who is willing to relocate if necessary. Our best candidates are often currently employed, and have families and a home. With this in mind, there must be incentive for the individual to make a change. We believe that the first year earnings potential must be geared to attract a qualified panel of proven applicants for your company. We often assist our clients with: compensation mini-survey feed-back, salary and incentive plan suggestions and first year guarantee recommendations; and we typically negotiate the total compensation and relocation package.

Once we are retained, any serious internal candidates are also referred to us for inclusion in our process. Our client and the internal candidates know that we will be objective and that we will receive the same full fee regardless of the source of the winning candidate. Also, when our client receives a resume or application, it is turned over to JSA for inclusion in our process. That individual will receive the same objective scrutiny as any other JSA candidate. It is essential that JSA and our clients are mutually committed to finding and selecting the very best!

One special service that we provide to our clients at no additional charge, is that our JSA staff will research the area where your position is based, and write an attractive “relocation” section, which will include photos, area attractions, write-ups on nearby recommended towns/neighbourhood that this new manager may wish to live…complete with an extensive list of website links. We have consistently found that having this information right in the position description, helps to ease the research phase (Where would I be living?) for serious candidates. As our clients well realize, helping a candidate (and their spouse) to become comfortable with the relocation is a critical part of getting your strongest candidate to be prepared to sign your offer of employment. Our Team enjoys putting this write-up together, and it helps us to learn more about the area where our clients are based.

Family relocation is often involved, and Jordan-Sitter Associates is accustomed to being a part of that process. Spouses and families play key roles in successful relocations. We often talk with spouses by phone and meet them during our candidate interview visit. Typically, we travel with hiring authority approval to the candidate’s city to conduct an in-depth interview. We often visit the candidate’s home to meet the spouse and gain a feel for their lifestyle – as it may impact the relocation. Our reports to clients include a relocation assessment. We also typically assist our clients with final negotiation of the compensation and relocation package.

Once our client has selected a panel of finalist candidates (often 2 to 4), JSA coordinates schedules for confidential meetings. Normally, one or two finalists are invited back for a second meeting, to include an opportunity for spouses to see the area, and to have dinner with our client.

When finalist candidates are identified, JSA contacts individuals who are qualified to comment in-depth as references for the candidates. The credibility of these individuals is enhanced because frequently they are either friends in the business or industry contacts of ours developed over the last 35+ years. Educational credentials are typically verified and secondary references are often checked.

Joe Jordan’s first assignment was an international search, and there have been several since then. Bill Sitter lived and worked in Europe and the Middle East for Caterpillar, and Jerry Randecker traveled extensively in Europe and The Pacific Rim during his career. It is clearly our focus to fill middle to senior level roles in North America, however we do track and maintain contact with candidates with international experience and language capabilities.